INTREPID SAILORS

The Legacy of Preble's Boys and the Tripoli Campaign
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Binding:Hardback
Published:October 15, 2012
By Chipp Reid (Author)

Named a "Notable Naval Book of 2012" by Proceedings Magazine

Intrepid Sailors tells one of the greatest sea stories in the history of the U.S. Navy. Under Commodore Edward Preble, the Navy came of age fighting the scourge of the time, the infamous Barbary Pirates. Intrepid Sailors tells the story of the Navy’s campaign to subdue the pirate leader of Tripoli, who declared war on the United States in 1801. After two failed campaigns, Preble took command of the U.S. squadron in the Mediterranean and served notice to world the U.S. Navy would be a force with which to reckon.

Among the ships in Preble’s flotilla was a non-descript little ketch. Once a French supply boat, the ketch served Tripoli until the U.S. squadron captured her in 1803. Upon her capture, Preble incorporated the little boat into his force, re-naming her the Intrepid. She was the first ship in the United States Navy to bear the name of Intrepid and would play a central role in some of the primary feats of “Preble’s Boys.”

The exploits of the officers and sailors in this campaign are the stuff of legend. In culling myth from fact, Reid went back to original sources, using the words of the men in the campaign to tell their story. Whether it is Decatur leading the daring raid to burn the captured frigate Philadelphia or the escape attempts of American prisoners in Tripoli, Intrepid Sailors brings to life a story many Americans once widely knew but that today has become little more than footnote.

Unlike other books on the topic, however, Intrepid Sailors delves into the development of officers and sailors under Preble. Most were half the age of their commander and few had major combat experience. Under Preble, these men forged a legacy of professionalism to which the Navy still adheres. The book also examines one of the most famous friendships in American and Navy history – that of Decatur and Somers. Their thirst for glory and utter devotion to making the U.S. Navy a permanent, respected force inspired all around them but that quest for immortality never caused a breach in their friendship. Instead, that friendship grew stronger, providing even more inspiration. Intrepid Sailors offers a rare insight into the lives of men who today loom larger-than-life and who continue to inspire each new class of naval officer. Stephen Decatur, Richard Somers, Charles Stewart, James Lawrence, Edward Preble and a pantheon of early U.S. Navy heroes all come to life.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Naval History
  • Hardback : 320 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (October 15, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1612511171
  • ISBN-13: 9781612511177
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 0
Praise
  • “Reid’s Intrepid Sailors is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in the Barbary Wars, early American naval history, or just in search of a first-rate story.” — H-WAR
  • "Readers with an eye for adventure and an appreciation of American military history will find Intrepid Sailors a fetching addition to their library.” — Sea History
  • "The Preble story is obviously not new, but Reid’s manner of approaching history is both refreshing and astute. Reid serves his subject well with interesting insights and an eye for detail that makes compelling reading. All-in-all, a most welcome treatment of a long-forgotten war that established so much of our illustrious Naval tradition.” — Sea Classics
  • “The author, Chipp Reid, did a good job of using original sources and later interpretations to create an interesting narrative about Preble's squadron. There is a lot of good information on the men and ships of the squadron, along with an explanation of how difficult it is to maintain a blockade with limited resources. The book has a good mix of familiar and new information (or at least it was new to me) and I found it an enjoyable read.” — Naval Gazing blogspot
  • “Highly recommend, especially for public library nautical and military history collections.” — Midwest Book Review
  • “Commodore Edward Preble’s campaign against Tripoli in 1804 constituted a school in audacious naval tactics for a band of young officers who would distinguish themselves in the War of 1812. Chipp Reid’s lively account of the exploits of ‘Preble’s Boys’ provides an interesting introduction to one of the most fondly remembered generations of American naval leaders that includes Stephen Decatur, Isaac Hull, and Thomas Macdonough.”



    —David Curtis Skaggs, author of Thomas Macdonough: Master of Command in the Early U.S. Navy and Oliver Hazard Perry: Honor, Courage, and Patriotism in the Early U.S. Navy
  • “Packed with action, Chipp Reid’s Intrepid Sailors is impossible to put down. Thoroughly researched, beautifully written, it casts new light on Commodore Edward Preble’s attacks on Tripoli in 1804, showing how these seminal events shaped a generation of naval heroes, including Stephen Decatur Jr., Isaac Hull, Charles Stewart, Thomas Macdonough, James Lawrence, and Charles Morris.”



    —George C. Daughan, author of 1812: The Navy’s War and If by Sea: The Forging of the American Navy—From the Revolution to the War of 1812

Chipp Reid is an award-winning reporter and editor, a licensed ship captain, historian, and Cold War veteran. He has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as baseball, international soccer, and international piracy. Reid now works in Washington, D.C. and lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his two dogs. His book Intrepid Sailors: The Legacy of Preble's Boys and the Tripoli Campaign was named a “Notable Naval Book of 2012” by Proceedings magazine.

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